02/03/2023 by Dave Robson 0 Comments
A love affair with the sea
A love affair with the sea
Huge excitement yesterday when I received an email from the boatyard in France that the engine has been re-installed into my boat.
This can only mean one thing – it’s been mended! Yeay! And as such, it’s a great cause for celebration.
The other thing it means is that the sailing season is drawing nearer at last, after a long, cold and wet winter with weather eminently unsuitable for cruising under sail, and very soon, in April or May, it will be time to head to the Atlantic coast of France, where we keep our boat, in preparation for setting sail into the wild blue yonder once again for another summer of unpredictable adventure.
By the way, in case you hadn’t guessed, sailing is one of my greatest passions, as well as being my sport of choice.
A friend, a fellow sailor who is currently boatless, told me the other day, “I’ve seen a great boat for sale and I’m so tempted to buy her, but I can’t justify the expense.”
My spontaneous reply was, “what nonsense! If you want the boat because you want to sail again and you've got the finance, just buy her. Unless you’re a professional sailor, there can be no possible financial justification for buying a boat. A boat is a liability. Sailing and boat owning is an affair of the heart. You own a boat because you love sailing and you love the sea. It is a love affair, nothing else, and you can't put a price on that.”
“I suppose you’re right,” he replied.
“If you loved skiing you would buy skis and go to the snow covered mountains,” I continued. “If you loved mountaineering, you’d buy mountaineering equipment and head off for Everest. If you loved scuba diving… But you love sailing and for sailing you need a boat. It’s obvious. Never feel guilty about spending your hard earned cash on something you love. What else are you going to do with it? You certainly can’t take it with you.”
Has he bought his boat? No, he is still procrastinating.
It is said that owning a boat is like standing on a quayside throwing £50 notes into the sea and, to be honest, often it feels exactly like that. It certainly can’t be justified on a rational, logical or financial level. If you weren’t madly in love with sailing, why else would you go through the blood, sweat, tears and anxiety that comes with owning a boat?
The answer – it’s for those times when the sun is blazing out of a clear blue sky and the sea is sparkling, there’s a lively breeze in the right direction and your boat, with you in it, surges, picks up her skirts and starts going like a rocket ship. It’s for those times when you are escorted across the bay by a pod of playful dolphins. It’s for the times when you come quietly into harbour to be greeted by a bunch of men and women singing sea shanties. It’s for those times when you know you’ve landed in the home port of your favourite restaurant. It’s for those times when you arrive in the middle of a Moules Frites festival…
You get my drift?